Mysore airport stares at bleak future yet again

SpiceJet to withdraw Mysore-B'lore services for one year from Oct 26

While SpiceJet made Sankranti memorable a year ago by launching its flight services between Mysore and Bangalore on the festival day on January 14, 2013, for the coming Deepavali, it has thrown in a wet blanket.

On October 25, when a flight takes off to Bangalore from Mysore Airport at Mandakalli on Mysore-Nanjangud Road, it would be the last commercial flight from Mysore. SpiceJet, the current service provider, has decided to withdraw the services from Mysore to Bangalore for a period of one year from October 26 to October 24 next year. With this, the airport is staring at a similar situation that had cropped up when Kingfisher abruptly suspended its services at the fag end of 2012.

“I received an email from the local authorities of SpiceJet on October 11, announcing the withdrawal of services between Mysore and Bangalore, after the conclusion of its ongoing schedule on October 25. However, in the interest of the dedicated passengers, I have written to the operator to reconsider its decision,” Airport Director C Manjunath told Deccan Herald on Friday.

Manjunath said, however, the Airport Authority of India was confident of wooing other flight operators like Air Costa, Air India and Air Asia to tag Mysore airport on the air map. The talks have been underway for many months now.

The current decision of SpiceJet having its headquarters in Gurgaon, Haryana, in all probability will affect the transportation sector, as a majority of the passengers availing the service belonged to tourism and industrial sectors. Tourists with Bandipur and Kerala on their itinerary would fly down from Mumbai and Delhi to Mysore, before resuming their journey by road, while others included entrepreneurs and industrialists, both locals and outsiders, together forming on an average 30 to 40 outbound passengers.

Revised schedule 

When the revised schedule was introduced in September, the flights were operated thrice a week – Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. 

Ever since SpiceJet filled the gap created by the previous operator by launching its services from Mysore from January 2013, all was well, until it made an announcement to cancel flights permanently from September 1.

Prior to this, it had suspended the services for sometime from the end of July to August 20, before resuming them. However, it had hinted at stopping the flights again after sometime, only to reconsider its decision when the Aviation Ministry intervened.

Though the compelling reason behind the decision of withdrawal of services was not made known, according to sources, the air operator was not satisfied with the passenger traffic. Barring Mondays when the response was relatively good, the 79-seater ATR-72 type flight saw close to 30 passengers on the remaining two days.

The existing eight-member staff of the operator are most likely to be recalled to Bangalore and other airports, while the fate of six outsourced staff who were handling ground services is shaky.

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